Issues and personalities to watch: Eastern

With 1.7 million voters, Eastern Province has the second largest number of voters, which makes it a very fertile hunting ground for Narc-Kenya and ODM-Kenya. As long as Kalonzo Musyoka is in the race, in a situation reminiscent of the referendum, the battle for votes will divide the province into two, where the lower Eastern will vote overwhelmingly for ODM while Narc-Kenya could end up with a field day on the Northern part which includes Embu and Meru and moves all the way to Moyale.

While in Embu and Meru the issue will be the party that Kibaki will be running in, in the North development will impact the outcome of the presidential vote. With the pervasive suspicion of ODM in the Mt Kenya region, in both Meru and Embu, aspirants will be judged on the basis of political parties they vie in. already, prominent Meru and Embu politicians have indicated that they will be throwing their lot with Kibaki. It will be interesting to see how Joseph Nyaga, MP for Gachoka and the favourite son of veteran politician Jeremiah Nyagah, will perform with his Green African Party which he has affiliated to ODM.

Also interesting to watch will be the role of the Catholic Church will play in Marsabit and Isiolo. In past elections, the church, because of its elaborate network in the huge semi-arid districts, has been very influential. It has been a close ally of the current government in much the same way the AIC was close with the Moi government.

It will also be interesting to see how the lower Eastern will vote if Kalonzo does not win the ODM ticket. Kalonzo has several times complained that some of his counterparts in ODM were hell bent on isolating him.

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